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What Are Clarifying Shampoos? Do You Need One?

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clarifying shampoo

Okay, tell me this - when you heard of clarifying shampoo, was your first question, “Isn’t my regular shampoo, well, clarifying already?” We’re sorry to have to burst your bubble, but no. While it will surely help you extract dirt and grease, a clarifying shampoo can also cut through oils, product build-up, and other impurities that your regular bottle of shampoo can’t. To draw parallels, they are just like skin exfoliators or scrubs. A face wash does a good job to eliminate daily debris, but exfoliating can really get things going. Similarly, if your hair has been looking limp, lifeless or just unresponsive to any hair treatment lately, it's trying to send across a message: it needs clarifying shampoo. They are also a great addition to your hair care routine if you’re an infrequent hair washer, swimmer or have a really oily scalp. Here’s everything you need to know:

What Are Clarifying Shampoos?

Think of them as regular shampoos on serious steroids. So everything that a normal shampoo can do, clarifying ones can amplify it, 5x. How so? With the presence of heavy surfactants. The most common ones are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate (a.k.a. sulfates), which can scoop out every ounce of gunk from your hair and scalp. You’ll instantly feel your scalp refreshed and *clean* clean.

What Is The Difference Between Regular Shampoo And Clarifying Shampoo?

At this point, are you thinking to yourself - if I need a deeper cleanse, I can just use my regular shampoo more often, right? The problem with over-shampooing is that it makes your scalp overcompensate by producing more oil. So, eventually, you’ll end up with oily hair anyway. Plus, dryness and hair loss tag along with it, and nobody wants that. On the other hand, a clarifying shampoo will do the heavy-lifting all at once and rid you of scalp debris, oil and gunk in one go, without risking your hair health.

How Often Should You Use A Clarifying Shampoo?

Because clarifying shampoos are a serious hair treatment, there is a time and event to bring them out. Well, now you already know when to use them and as for the time, they should not be used more than once a month. Because they do such an excellent job at pulling out every trace of gunk, your hair’s natural moisture can take a hit. Which is why you do not want to overdo it. The rules remain the same even if you have an oily scalp. But always remember to follow up with a nourishing hair mask to make up for any lost moisture.

The Best Clarifying Shampoos Available On Nykaa

Best Overall

Anomaly Clarifying Shampoo for Deep Cleanse with Charcoal & Eucalyptus

Anomaly Clarifying Shampoo for Deep Cleanse with Charcoal & Eucalyptus

What We Love: 100% Recycled Plastic Bottle

One of the top picks from PCJ’s hair care brand, Anomaly, this clarifying shampoo knows how to do its job really well. It has a clean, cruelty-free and vegan formula, infused with charcoal and eucalyptus for a deep and thorough cleanse. Your scalp will feel instantly refreshed and gunk-free sans any dryness. Isn’t that ahh-mazing?

Ideal For Oily Scalp

Suganda Clarifying Shampoo - Triple Action Formula For Gentle & Meticulous Scalp Exfoliation

Suganda Clarifying Shampoo - Triple Action Formula For Gentle & Meticulous Scalp Exfoliation

What We Love: Clarifying + Exfoliating Formula

If your scalp tends to get oily *really* quick, then meet your new BFF. Infused with salicylic acid and fluidipure, this clarifying shampoo offers gentle yet meticulous scalp exfoliation. With its unique 3x triple formula, it offers a deeper cleanse without drying out your hair. With a note-worthy 4.3/5 rating, there is no doubt that this hero here has been used and loved by many.

Best For Coloured Hair

Olaplex No. 4c Blonde Maintainence Clarifying Shampoo

Olaplex No. 4c Blonde Maintainence Clarifying Shampoo

What We Love: Patented And Proven Technology For Repairing Hair

Clarifying shampoos and coloured hair usually don’t see eye-to-eye, because they can easily tone down the colour. But not in this care! In fact, this clarifying shampoo improves the colour vibrancy along with sweeping your scalp of product build-up, oil and pollutants. You’ll notice an airy volume and visible shine and bounce. Plus, it will restore moisture and strengthen the hair from the inside out. Clear winner!

Summing up, there are two things you must keep in mind with clarifying shampoos - do not overuse it and always follow up with a hair mask. Here’s manifesting happy hair days for you!

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